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Agriculture in the spotlight at Lethbridge College

Posted on March 22, 2023 by Sunny South News

By Al Beeber
Southern Alberta Newspapers

Lethbridge College agriculture programs were in the spotlight earlier this month, led by members of its student-run Aggie Club.

Agriculture students began sharing their passion for the industry with activities to engage and inform others on campus about the science of agriculture.

The events were an opportunity for students to learn about agriculture lessons via online lessons delivered to them by email. Students could learn about careers, summer jobs and the role played by agriculture in southern Alberta.

The event was spearheaded Aggie Club president Emma Knodel whose family has farmed just north of Coaldale for more than a century.

“This day is really important in that it showcases our industry and hopefully helps to dispel some myths about the agricultural sector,” said Knodel.

She and her vice president started the day last year after COVID and the event has become “a really big, important event to the college,” said Knodel.

“I’m really passionate about public policy and what I can do to promote the ag sector…I’m in my third year of my Bachelor of Science program, I come from a farm so to me it’s really important to be able to share my industry and my culture with other students and the community,” added Knodel.

The club president said attracting younger people to the agriculture industry is important.

“The median age of those involved in agriculture and farmers is higher than other industries. So to get more young people involved and understanding what the industry is about and what we do to serve our communities” is important as the industry strives to feed an ever-growing population, she said.

“We need a lot more workers, a lot more skilled labour coming into this industry and so hosting events like this is one way to encourage people” to get involved in agriculture, she said.

Byrne Cook, chair of the LC School of Agriculture, said “we really like to have an opportunity to showcase agriculture.”

The chair said the event is “geared toward everyone. We don’t really need to preach to our own group, they kind of know the significance of agriculture, but sometimes people don’t realize the breadth of agriculture. There’s an awful lot of science to it and so there’s the business side, research, there’s production, there’s food production, all of these different aspects that a lot of people don’t think about. They think if you don’t own land, you’re not involved in agriculture.”

“The service sector is really huge,” he said.

He said people don’t have to be particularly in the dirt to be involved in agriculture.

“There’s more jobs this year than I’ve ever seen. Companies started banging on the door the first of September and I still get daily calls for summer students and full-time positions in agriculture,” Cook said.

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